Friendliest places for expat retirement

Friendliest places for expat retirement

Friendliest places for expat retirement

If you’re determined to retire overseas to a warmer, less expensive country, one of the most important considerations is the ease of fitting in with the established expat community as well as with local people.

Real estate, an affordable cost of living and acceptable healthcare standards and costs are three of the most important aspects of planning your retirement overseas. However, the one essential which often gets put on the back burner is fitting in with the local expat community as well as with the nationals in your chosen country. Integration is one of the most crucial aspects of overseas retirement, with certain countries fitting the bill better than others.

A recent survey identified several top retiree-friendly destinations, all of which ticked the right boxes as regards ease of integration. Belize came out well for its choice of lifestyles and locations and its combination of Central American and Caribbean ambience. Inland villages, coastal developments perfect for a laidback lifestyle and small towns on mountain slopes all offer a welcome to those looking for retirement heaven. English is the primary language here, making fitting in both with the established expat community and the Belizians straightforward and enjoyable.

Malaysia’s ‘second home’ visa attracts a good number of retirees from Europe and the USA, and this exotic country offers a variety of choices as regards location and accommodation. The mainland is a mix of Indian, Arab, Chinese, European and Malay influences, and Borneo offers wild jungles complete with leopards, elephants and remote tribal villages. Popular expats havens include Kuala Lumpur, waterfront Kuching, Kota Kinabalu with its national park and bohemian George Town on Penang island.

The spectacular Bay Islands are part of Honduras, although separated from the mainland by 40 miles of stunning blue Caribbean waters. Its people are English-speaking due to their colonial heritage, and are helpful and friendly. On offer is a laid-back tropical lifestyle and a large, lively expat community committed to volunteering and getting involved with the local people. If a more European style is needed, Malta is the place, with its Crusader history and endless sunshine. English is an official language here, making settling in easy and fun.

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